It's that wonderful time of year when the house is still for long periods of time and it is possible to have a complete thought without any interruptions. It's also the bittersweet end of summer as fall color starts seeping into the landscape and thoughts of favorite sweaters and pumpkin pie mingle, making me giddy. This has always been the time of year when my creativity overrides everything else. Even falling asleep is difficult as I try to quiet the voices of ideas wanting to be heard.
These children were on a field trip in the Forbidden City in Beijing. Many children I encountered were eager to practice their English. They would look up at me and say "Hello, what is your name?" So darling.
It's now been 4 years since I was in Beijing. I still think about it and look at my photographs with such longing. I felt so at home there from the moment I stepped out of the plane. The air was intoxicating; wood smoke, tea,incense and cherry flowers. Anyway, that is how it smelled to me.
Growing up I had a Great Aunt Christine. She was married to my grandmother's brother. She was different than all the other women in the family. Her red hair was always "done", she wore a fur coat and corsage to family gatherings. She was sweet. As kids we picked up from the adults or on our own that she wasn't the brightest bulb in the box. The four of us kids were in my grandmother's bedroom where we were watching a beauty pageant when Aunt Christine came in and sat on the bed. She said the sweetest things about the contestants. She thought they were so beautiful or glamorous. After she left the room we mimicked her and laughed.
Aunt Christine in later years carried a photograph album around with her of pictures of her trip to Hawaii. Not a pocket sized one but we are talking wedding album big. Every where she went she had her album with her. Well I fear I am turning into my Aunt Christine with my photos of China, however; I am not nearly as sweet or as well kept as she was. Aunt Christine, wherever you are, I am sorry.
In Beijing I saw a lot of birds in cages. Old men take their birds to the park and hang the cages in the trees while they play majong.
I like bird cages, but I am opposed to caging birds.I have quite a few bird cages around in the garden. One was a bird feeder for a while. It cracked me up that the birds had to go inside the cage to get the seed.
My mother had a bird when we lived in Mexico and one when we returned, both lived outside their cages. The head housekeeper was so surprised that my mother's bird could learn to speak English. She had thought that they could only speak Spanish.
My step-mother-in-law had a bird who flew around her house but slept in his cage at night. Recently he flew away while she was getting ready to move across country. It is very sad. That little bird is what has kept her going through some very difficult times, now he is gone.